Cuban community in Ottawa

More than a hundred members of the Cuban community in Canada gathered Saturday afternoon in front of Parliament in Ottawa to defend the rights of Cubans who have been demonstrating for nearly a week to demand a democratic transition in their country.

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Protesters armed with Cuban flags and banners reading “Free Cuba” or “Cuba Distress” gathered before marching through the streets of the capital to defend democracy in the island nation, calling for an end to the “communist regime” and “dictatorship”.

Those present expressed their desire for a general election in Cuba, accusing the current regime, in particular the former president and brother of Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, of “imprisoning the people”.

“We are not afraid”, they chanted as they walked peacefully towards Sussex Road to finally reach the area around the residence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

They also denounced the silence of the liberal leader, accusing him of not taking an official position and not proposing concrete measures since the start of the wave of demonstrations in Cuba, there for nearly a week.

Mr Trudeau spoke Thursday at a news conference, where he said he was “deeply concerned” about the situation, and also condemned the arrests of protesters.

The climate is still tense in Cuba

Thousands of Cuban government supporters marched on Saturday in response to the Cuban people who took to the country’s streets a few days ago to demand freedom.

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel participated in the event accompanied by Raul Castro, who led the revolution with his brother in 1959 and who has been officially retired since April.

Dozens of injured and dead, as well as more than a hundred arrests, have been reported in Cuba since the start of the protests that have rocked the country.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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